EDUDEAF: History of Sign VS Aural/Oral

Keywords: Information, Deafness Related Issues, Deaf Culture and History

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Date: Fri, 6 Sep 1996 10:03:44 -0700

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: Audra Eckes

Subject: History of sign vs. aural/oral

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

Anyone know offhand when the sign/ASL advocates started speaking out for the deaf community? When were signing educational approaches readily available/popular? When did the Total Communication approach start? I'm trying to explain in a paper why many deaf adults aren't quite fluent in ASL, as they were not introduced until adults or teens because of the oral/aural approach popularity for what seems like since the beginning of deaf education. I don't think I need to go much further than that in my paper, but I'm curious for myself.

I do know that it's only recently that ASL has begun to be looked upon as a separate language, but when did the Deaf actually begin using it? What are the percentages of children educated in each way now? How does this compare to, say 30 years ago? 20? 10? I would imagine that enrollment in solely oral/aural programs is declining, but I could be wrong... Just some thoughts.

Thanks for any info that might satisfy my curiosity.
audralynne@earthlink.net

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Date: Fri, 6 Sep 1996 16:11:49 -0400

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From: Vicki Barwig

Subject: Re: History of sign vs. aural/oral

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

In-Reply-To:

I think that "advocates" have been speaking out about the various ways of educating Deaf children (that we can document) since the establishment of public education for the Deaf in France. I'm bad with dates; maybe the early 1800's or late 1700's?

>I do know that it's only recently that ASL has begun to be looked upon as a separate language, but when did the deaf actually begin using it? What are the percentages of children educated in each way now? How does this compare to, say 30 years ago? 20? 10? I would imagine that enrollment in solely oral/aural programs is declining, but I could be wrong... Just some thoughts.

If you want to read a historical novel, try When the Mind Hears by Harlan Lane, which gives a pretty good narrative of Deaf education in America.

A Place of Their Own, by John Vickrey Van Cleve and Barry A. Crouch is a more "text book"-like account of Deaf history, which highlights the history of Deaf education in a few chapters.

Never The Twain Shall Meet (I'm not sure who wrote that) gives details about the manual/oral debate in the early 1900's (I believe).

People began researching ASL as a seperate language in the late 1960's, when Stokoe (hearing professor at Gallaudet) suspected that there was more than broken English and gestures happening in Deaf people's communication.

Oralism began to become more popular (world-wide after the infamous Milan Conference in 1880, but has been on a decline since 1970, when Total Communication was introduced into schools. Currently, we are also seeing a rise in bi-lingual/bi-cultural schools for the Deaf, which support the use of ASL as the language of instruction, English as a language for reading and writing, and an appreciation of both Deaf and Hearing cultures. There are several bi/bi schools now: Indiana School for the Deaf, Maryland School for the Deaf, California School for the Deaf in Freemont, Texas School for the Deaf, and The Learning Center for Deaf Children in Framingham Massachusetts. Austine Deaf School (Vermont) and the Ohio School for the Deaf are also transitioning into bi/bi programs, although change is slow. (I should add that the Maryland School for the Deaf is a bilingual program, but not a bicultural program, according to their philosophy/language policy.)

There is also at least one bilingual/bicultural teacher training program (Master's degree) in Maryland at Western Maryland College. This was one of the first colleges that welcomed Deaf adults with open arms in this century. (Many schools would only accept late-deafened who could speak or hard of hearing adults.)

If you want a more complete bibliography, I can give you one, that way you can check my dates, which are always subject to question.

-Vicki
vb@truxton.com

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Date: Fri, 6 Sep 1996 18:48:13 -0400

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

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From: Gina Tanza

Subject: Re: History of sign vs. aural/oral

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

Another teacher training program (Master's level) that has a bilingual-bicultural philosophy (for at least 15 years) is Boston University.

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Date: Sat, 7 Sep 1996 14:46:33 -0400

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From: Mcfdyn@AOL.COM

Subject: Re: History of sign vs. aural/oral

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

Signing educational approaches were in vogue in the 1800's before the conference of Milan (1880). when Gallaudet first brought LeClerc over to start a school for the deaf, it was a signing school. Also a large deaf group on Martha's vineyard was using sign early on, and the hearing people used it also.

You might want to look at:
What (When?)the mind hears by Harlan Lane
Everyone Here Spoke Sign Language by ?????
For Hearing People Only Matther Moore and???
Donald Moores book (Educating the Deaf???

Sorry to be so vague, but I'm at home and don't have these references handy.

kathy
san antonio
mcfdyn@aol.com

Uploaded by: Melissa Close/Kent State University/Deaf Education Major